OdacitÉ Kind of Girl: Alejandra Campoverdi

Alejandra Campoverdi is a genuine inspiration to us, and we’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with her during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A champion for women’s health, she served as White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media during the Obama administration, and later founded The Well Woman Coalition, an initiative empowering women of color to take ownership of their health and healing via education, awareness, and advocacy.

With a family history of breast cancer, Alejandra chose to take charge of her health and future and get tested for the BRCA mutation (the BReast CAncer gene). We spoke to her about that decision and more for this month’s Odacité Kind of Girl…

Q: Please tell me (in brief) your journey on discovering that you had the BRCA mutation, and can you tell us where you are at in the journey today?

I have never known a time in my life when breast cancer was not present. My family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico just a few years before I was born. When I was a baby, my great-grandmother died of breast cancer. When I was a teenager, my grandmother died of breast cancer. My mother was diagnosed when I was in my early twenties. And in my thirties, I witnessed two of my aunts battle the disease. With this family history, I leapt at the chance to take a BRCA genetic test in 2013 when I first heard of it on the news. When my results came back positive for a BRCA2 mutation, I wasn't all that surprised. Armed with the knowledge that I had an 85% risk of developing breast cancer, I decided to undergo a risk-reducing surgery. In 2018, I underwent a preventive double mastectomy but ultimately, the surgery was not preventive after all. Routine testing of my removed breast tissue revealed that I unknowingly already had Stage 0 non-invasive breast cancer in one of my breasts, despite a recent negative mammogram and ultrasound. Yet because of my preventive action (genetic testing, surgery), I would not need to undergo any additional treatment. I had beaten breast cancer before I even knew I had it.

Q: Can you share a few pieces of advice that you believe will help support women that are on the same journey as you?

My journey with BRCA and breast cancer has been a practice in honoring my intuition. From taking a genetic test to going through with a “preventive” surgery, I turned inward repeatedly for guidance and reassurance. Even when others doubted my decision, I trusted my gut. This journey has been the greatest validation of the value of cultivating that inner voice. Learning to honor that voice is one of the most important things we can do as women. As a Latina, it was particularly important to me that women of color feel a sense of empowered health and healing so, in addition to documenting my experiences on Instagram, I founded The Well Woman Coalition to serve as a resource and to build a sense of community.

And always, set a reminder and get that yearly mammogram. Do a monthly self breast exam. Take that genetic test. Follow up on that irregular Pap smear. Push for the extra blood work just in case or for a referral to a specialist if you still have questions. You are not exaggerating. You are not health-obsessed. You are not paranoid. You are saving your life.

Q: How did your diagnosis affect your view on beauty?

A lot of times as women we are made to feel, and sometimes we naturally feel, that a cornerstone of our femininity and beauty are our breasts but they are not. It’s our resilience, our grit, and our courage. And those things are not being removed during breast surgery. If anything, those things are stoked.

Q: Let’s talk skin…what is your approach to skincare?

My skin has always been on the dry side so I began using heavy duty skincare products pretty early on. Yet I was not as focused on natural skin care prior to my diagnosis. In the process of preparing for surgery and learning everything I could about holistic health, I came to understand just how connected everything you put in and on your body is to your overall health and well-being. Now, I am more intentional about choosing quality products that not only deliver results, but also are clean, toxin-free, and natural.

Q: What are your everyday skincare rituals that are non-negotiable?

First thing when I wake up in the morning, I spritz my face with pure rose water for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It helps wake me up and also sets the tone for my skin throughout the day. Sunscreen and a good daily moisturizer are non-negotiable, even on cloudy days. A deep moisturizing cream on my face and neck before bed is a must, year-round. I also apply chapstick right before bed nightly to keep my lips soft.

Q: Can you share your favorite Odacité products (and why).

I really connect with the fact that Odacité was developed by a fellow breast cancer survivor with an eye towards removing toxins from skincare to benefit women’s health and wellness.

I am in love with the Aloe + Immortelle Hydra-Repair Treatment Mist. I keep it in my purse and mist throughout the day and after I work out (it may replace my morning rose water soon!). I travel a lot and it’s also the perfect ritual mid-flight and upon landing to soothe dehydrated skin. Also, there’s something so luxurious about the Bioactive Rose Gommage Pineapple + Hyaluronic Acid Baby Soft Peel. It leaves my skin feeling baby soft and smells amazing.


60 SECONDS WITH LISA

If I had to describe myself in 3 words…

Growing, learning, healing

My alarm is set for

Multiple times throughout the day as a reminder for various tasks/meetings

I cannot start my day without

Homemade ceremonial matcha

My fridge is always stocked with

Oat milk

On my idea of a perfect day, I would…

Wake up in a country I’ve never traveled to before

My favorite workout is

Hiking

My latest wellness obsession is

Breathwork

The last book I read (or podcast I listened to) was

"When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection” by Gabor Maté

My favorite way to relax is

Swimming in the ocean

To get my creative juices flowing I

Clean and organize my house

On my day off I

Love a good brunch with friends and loved ones

My definition of beauty is

Being authentically yourself

My current mantra…

Remember who you are

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